1887

Abstract

Gifsy-1 and Gifsy-2 are lambdoid prophages which contribute to the virulence of serovar Typhimurium. The nucleotide sequence of the replication region of both prophages is identical, and similar in organization to the replication region of bacteriophage . To investigate the replication of the Gifsy phages and the relationship between Gifsy and host chromosome replication, a plasmid which contained all the genes and regulatory sequences required for autonomous replication in bacterial cells was constructed. This plasmid, pGifsy, was stably maintained in cells. The helicase loader of the Gifsy phages is very similar to the DnaC protein of the host, a feature characteristic of a large group of prophages common in the sequenced genomes of pathogenic enterobacteria. This DnaC-like protein showed no similarity to the helicase loader of bacteriophage and closely related phages. Interestingly, unlike plasmids derived from bacteriophage ( plasmids), pGifsy did not require a gene encoding the putative helicase loader for replication, although deletion of this gene resulted in a decrease in plasmid copy number. Under these conditions, it was shown that the plasmid utilized the helicase loader coded by the host. On the other hand, the viral protein could not substitute for DnaC in bacterial chromosome replication. The results of the current study support the hypothesis that the enterobacterial helicase loader is of viral origin. This hypothesis explains why the gene for DnaC, the protein central to both replication initiation and replication restart in , is present in the genomes of , , and , but not in the genomes of related enterobacteria.

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2007-06-01
2020-04-09
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